Old Testament: Joshua 16-18
Psalms: Psalm 102
New Testament: Luke 2
As we read through Luke, Joshua, and Psalm, let’s continue to be like Luke in carefully examining scripture. Let’s take note of the important details so that we will know the exact truth about what we are learning, like in Luke, as he lays out the facts surrounding the birth of Jesus, including when he was born, where he was born, and who was ruling and present at the time. We are left with evidence that he is indeed the Lord’s Messiah, born under the law of Moses during the first census that was taken during the reign of Quirinius as governor of Syria.
Those details are important.
As we read Joshua, let’s look for parallels between what happens there and what happens in the New Testament, like the women, daughters in the line of Joseph, who came directly to Joshua to ask for an inheritance. He granted it to them. I relate it to all the passages about women in the New Testament who are always surrounding and supporting Jesus and his ministry. Jesus grants many of them their petitions, even the ones I assume were unspoken.
As we read through Psalm 102, let’s consider what was going on in David’s life at the time of his writing. Let’s remember that although it was prophesied from an early time in his life that he would be king, he spent most of his life on the run for his life. When he finally became king, he committed one (or two) of the gravest sins with grave consequences, yet, he was still known for being a man after God’s own heart. I imagine this was due to the constant love and respect he had for God in loving and respecting the LORD’s first anointed king, King Saul, as we see him time and time again showing mercy to him.
Think of a time in your life as a Christian when you were so distraught that you forgot to eat, or drinking your wine mixed with your tears, before getting up, and carrying on, praising God for his compassion, graciousness, and consistency in your life with fear (reverence). Remember that our Lord Jesus told us that in this life, we will have trouble. If you haven’t experienced distress in this way, praise God! But know that we can expect it, especially if we’re doing our part in God’s plan of salvation, serving the word. We’re promised the age to come after enduring this age and all that that entails for the sake of the salvation of others. If we’re working for him, we may also have a target on our backs like David did. But we can take courage. Jesus has overcome the world, and so can we through him, by imitating him when met with hardships.
Notice now in Joshua that even though the children of Israel were promised the land they were conquering, with Joshua as their leader, that they still had much work to do before they were able to rest in the land that was promised to them. In order to even step foot in the land promised them, they had to drive the current residents out. Many times they failed to drive them out completely and dwelt among people who were not God’s people. Often this caused many of them to stumble.
I relate this to sin under our new covenant through Jesus. Although we are promised the kingdom of God at the end of our life race, we still have much work to do. For one, we must drive out the sin from our lives completely, not allowing it to dwell with us. If we don’t, we may end up with a snare that costs us our lives. Thank God for repentance and forgiveness of sins.
Now let’s switch gears back to Luke chapter two. There is so much detail that shouldn’t be ignored. These details, along with the parallels between both of the major covenants, can grant us an even greater understanding of what this life is all about if we go through it all carefully. But again, the result of all the knowledge gained should lead us into new creatures, people who are made in the image of God, who become new in the image of Christ, to the glory of God if we belong to him.
The second chapter of Luke is full of people who I admire for their Godly character. I have no doubt that God hand selected them all to receive the best gift, being eyewitnesses of their Messiah Jesus.
Like unto Mary, the angel of the Lord came to a group of highly favored shepherds, bringing good news of great joy for all people. Not only one angel, but a multitude of heavenly hosts came, praising God before them for what he had done. If I am understanding their message correctly, I would say that they were among the men with whom God was pleased. It is my strive at the end of this life to hear those words from my Lord Jesus when I get the chance to meet him face to face.
When the shepherds heard these words, they went straight away to see what was made known to them. That is faith. After they fellowshipped with the new parents, they went away with the response that we should all endeavor to have after an encounter with our Messiah, which was to glorify and praise their God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
Next comes Simeon, the man looking for the consolation of Israel, a devout and righteous man, with holy spirit upon him. He got what he was hungering and thirsting for when he held the Lord God’s Christ in his arms. His response was to bless God, the one who gave him what he promised him, for eyes to see God’s salvation in the face of Jesus, who would be a light of revelation to the gentiles and the glory of God’s people Israel.
Then we’re told about Anna, the prophetess, who chose to remain devoted to God’s work in the temple. Day and night she served the Lord God with fasting and prayers, after being widowed for years. At the age of 84, she met her Messiah Jesus. At that very moment, her response was to give thanks to God. She then continued speaking of Jesus to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Looking at the child Jesus, we can see how he grew in wisdom. He didn’t know what he didn’t know. He had to seek it and obtain it. When he was only 12, he spent his time listening to teachers in the temple and asking them questions. He made it his business to be about his father’s business. That’s the heart of someone thirsty for the word.
The result of Jesus’s studying was a young child who had great understanding of the word, someone who had an answer that I can only assume was correct when corresponding with those well versed in the word, as they were astonished by his answers. He continued to increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
And finally, there is my favorite person, save Jesus, Mary, his mother. Her response to all of those Godly people and their words, including her son, was to treasure the things spoken about her son in her heart.
- What are some petitions or unspoken prayers that Jesus grants to the women during his earthly life?
- What else could we relate the work of the children of Israel to with the work we must do under our New Covenant through Jesus besides driving out the sin in our lives?
- What characteristic do you admire the most about those who got to witness Jesus in the flesh, face to face before their death?